How to Make the Right Decision (And Feel Good About It)

How to Make the Right Decision (And Feel Good About It)

How do you pick between two impossible choices?

You’ll fear two things: how the outcome will affect you and how others will judge you.

Few years ago, I had the option of either staying in California or moving to Arizona after high school. I’ve had my choice set on the latter since the day my dad’s side moved. That means my mind was already made for half a decade.

Then when it came down to it, I was scared. It was happening. Just three months shy I began panicking.

I asked myself a question you’re all so familiar with: what if I’m making a mistake?

I called one of my closest friends and began freaking out.

Part of me knew, even in that brief period of uncertainty, that moving would be the best thing to do. Face new challenges and thrust myself into an environment where I knew no one was what I needed to force myself out of my comfort zone.

Then more worries came in. What would my mom’s side of the family say? I’ve practically lived with them my whole life so how would my decision affect them?

Eventually, I settled down and moved like I planned. Things worked out wonderfully and I can’t say I’d be where I am today if I had stayed in California. There would have been a lot of great people and fun experiences I missed out on if I decided to stay where I was comfortable.

Fast forward a year and my next biggest choice was between pursuing my dream job or continue attending school.

I knew the former was the better opportunity and it’s what I’ve been building up towards, but I worried what my entire family would think.

The best piece of advice that I’ve heard on how to make the right decision:

Flip a coin. While it was in the air you had one outcome on your mind. You secretly hoped for it to be the winner. Go with what you wished for.

There are no right decisions, but at least you won’t be stuck with regret. Yes, the old cliche, “don’t live with regrets.”

Assuming you’ve done all the necessary deep diving, then go with it.

If you fall down a few times then dust off, laugh a bit, and try something new the next day.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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23 responses to How to Make the Right Decision (And Feel Good About It)

  1. The coin flip thing is so amazing, I’ve used it for sooo many decisions.

    It’s such a magical thing, you don’t think you have biases until you actually throw the coin in the air…

  2. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, right? I think it’s so true. I’ve never regretted the chances I took, only the ones I didn’t take. It’s scary, of course, but that’s usually a good sign. And the coin flipping thing totally works. It’s amazing how as soon as that coin is in the air you know exactly how you want it to end up!

    • Right! Every time I feel regret it’s rarely because of a decision I did make but because I was to scared to go with what I really wanted. It puts you in that loop of “what if I ____” and you never really get closure for that kind of thing. Going for it and falling flat on your face hurts but at least you know.

  3. True. Sometimes all you can do is make the choice and then go with it and see what happens. There will always be pros and cons to decisions. Most things are not black or white.

  4. After falling so much, what gives you the drive to continue forward?

    P.s. I can’t relax either lol don’t feel so bad..

    • Honestly, I haven’t fallen nearly as much as most others. A lot of the obstacles I face are more environmental than anything, e.g. my mother’s side of the family disapproving of what I do (or don’t do.)

      The drive comes from my knowing that their disapproval means very little in comparison to a lifetime of unhappiness and regret for myself. The latter is something I can actually change while the former I have little to no control over. I try to focus on what I can control/influence.

  5. Your email today spoke directly to my heart.

    Thank you

  6. Very well said. I’m currently going through with plans I’ve made – living on my own for school instead of at home – and at times I face the same last-minute freaking out situation. I’m going through with my plans 🙂 Also tried that coin thing. If I look back in 20 years, I’d regret it if I didn’t follow through. Not sure if this relates to you, but this article reminded me of your not being able to relax easily:

  7. regret is so much worse than fear, thank you for writing an awesome post that highlights this!

  8. Liked the way you expressed your idea of coming out of comfort zone . It is hard to chase your dreams if you have your own family . Leaving mom and dad does not hurt that much but leaving behind children and wife and go somewhere after dream job is like playing a tough game . But liked the article . Some people like you will follow you for sure as it is inspirational .

    • I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be for someone who has to leave a wife/husband and kids home.

      Our company was hiring a few months ago and we specifically made it a “requirement” to be single. Removing someone from their family is no joke.

  9. Great article 🙂
    I’m having serious doubts right now in regards to a major life decision. Even though I know that if I am not the one to make this move I can’t expect things to be different, it is very hard. It is possibly the hardest thing to do. The hardest thing, except of course, living with making a decision done to please others rather than yourself. Exactly as you stated with the first line “How do you pick between two impossible choices?”

    So many of us grow up with the good intentions of sacrificing for others. Unfortunately we leave out a very important person in this whole business – ourselves. Put on top of that the tendency for people to tell us what to do based on what would be good for them, and our learned response of feeling that their viewpoint is more accurate than ours, and it is a recipe for deep dissatisfaction.

    I’m so happy for you that you took the giant step in striking out into the unknown! It’s a scary and honorable thing you have done. Keep up the great work! But of course, always take that time for yourself.

    • The most important piece of the decision is always the one people ignore because they’re afraid of being called selfish. I’ve been called selfish for what I’ve done and I don’t disagree because in some ways it truly is selfish. But I made the choice to avoid a lifetime of being miserable, so that’s fair.

  10. Joel Richardson August 20, 2014 at 11:23 am

    You always seem to post the right content at exactly the right time Vincent. I had to make a very tough decision in a very, very short amount of time, (to leave home/ a chance to work onboard a cruise ship) I went with my gut instincts then unfortunately ended up getting pretty sick with a viral infection now I can’t continue with my training because I’ve had to much time off and I’m to far behind.

    I pretty much have every reason to be angry in the world right considering how much it has costed me and the burden of judgment from others I must admit does weigh heavy on me. (People thinking I’m a failure)

    However I know I would have regretted not taking the leap of faith and going for it even though it didn’t work out as I had envisioned it to.

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